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Old 04-27-2014, 05:53 PM   #1
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Leveling 5th wheel to new tow vehicle

Last September I bought a brand new Zinger ZF31BH fifth Wheel. Had it hooked and adjusted for a 2009 F150.

I recently bought a 2011 F250 Super duty 4x4 XLT 8' bed. Yesterday I took the fifth Wheel out of the warehouse (stored it inside for the winter).

Here's the problem. The fifth Wheel rides 4-4 inches higher (frame to ground) in the front. Therefore, there is bad weight distribution between the truck and the trailer and more weight on the back axle of the trailer.

Here's my data:
  1. Truck drops only 1 inch (hooked compared to unhooked)
  2. I have 8 inches of clearance between top of the truck and fifth Wheel
  3. The truck's hitch is at it's lowest position (can't go lower)
  4. I have two holes (1 inch each) left to raise the pin box
  5. The fifth Wheel suspension components are all at their highest possible positions
  6. The fifth Wheel is as empty and winterized as when I brought it home from the dealer.
Here's my plan:

Go up 2 holes (2 inches) on the pin box. I believe this will drop the front end of the fifth Wheel 2 inches and raise the back 2 inches also leaving me about inch higher on the front. I would end up with more or less 6 inches of clearance between the truck and the fifth Wheel.

Do I have this right? Any of you have experience with this kind of problem? Any torque recommendantions on 5/8 inch class 5 bolts?

Any input more than welcome! Thanks in advance you all!
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:18 PM   #2
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Sounds like your on the right track, My be you can go to taller tires on the trailer or a change out the tires and rims. Cost $$ I sure some else will have the answer your looking for. My be you can call the Pin box manufacture and see if there have any solutions.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bergeron View Post
Go up 2 holes (2 inches) on the pin box. I believe this will drop the front end of the fifth Wheel 2 inches and raise the back 2 inches also leaving me about inch higher on the front.
If it raises the rear 2", it is still only dropping the front 2". I think you'll still be 2 1/2" high.

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Originally Posted by Martin Bergeron View Post
The fifth Wheel is as empty and winterized as when I brought it home from the dealer.

I would end up with more or less 6 inches of clearance between the truck and the fifth Wheel.
When you load it for camping I believe the truck will squat more, maybe another inch, and you should still have 6" clearance, but you may be less than 2" higher.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:13 AM   #4
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This seems to be a pretty common problem with 4X4 trucks. Im dealing with the same issue with my Chevy 2500HD and Kingston 35SB. When connected the rear of the truck settles 3 inches and still the camper is nose high. Im installing the Air Lift 5000 system to maintain the truck level which will obviously compound the nose high situation. I plan to raise the suspension on the camper by moving the springs to the lower bolt holes on the frame shackles and then possibly raising the pin box up, this provided I can retain that minimum clearance (5 6 inches) between the truck rails and the bottom of the camper. If I still have an issue after that I guess Ill have to live with it. Im not planning a buying another truck any time in the near future.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:50 PM   #5
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Randy, I had the dealer lower the springs and they only did the front of the front spring and the back on the rear spring. well it did raise it up but the springs on equaflex had no other holes and springs were not level. The factory replaced equaflex with a longer style that made them ride level and it all worked out better. Until I went to a taller truck.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:54 AM   #6
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Randy, I had the dealer lower the springs and they only did the front of the front spring and the back on the rear spring. well it did raise it up but the springs on equaflex had no other holes and springs were not level. The factory replaced equaflex with a longer style that made them ride level and it all worked out better. Until I went to a taller truck.
Brent, I did notice what you mentioned and have been wondering how my plan would work out. Is it a major issue with the springs not being level and is it something that has to be correct?
Thanks....Randy
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:38 AM   #7
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4x4 ride higher. I seen a guy had F350 with 22.5 wheels and a new fifth wheel had large wheels on it.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:25 AM   #8
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Sometimes a cheaper option is to upgrade your 5th wheel hitch with one that has more adjustments to the head (ability to lower it). As long as you keep minimum clearance to the bed rails of 4 to 5 inches you are fine. I know I couldn't tow a 5th wheel that is designed to be "1/2 ton towable" because they sit too low. Most 5ers that are bigger sit higher and ride much more level with trucks like mine - 1 ton 4X4.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:00 AM   #9
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Sometimes a cheaper option is to upgrade your 5th wheel hitch with one that has more adjustments to the head (ability to lower it). As long as you keep minimum clearance to the bed rails of 4 to 5 inches you are fine. I know I couldn't tow a 5th wheel that is designed to be "1/2 ton towable" because they sit too low. Most 5ers that are bigger sit higher and ride much more level with trucks like mine - 1 ton 4X4.
My hitch is a Curt Q20 with slider. The problem is, if I lower the hitch to bring the camper level I have no (none) clearance between the camper and the bed of the truck. Seems to me, the only answer is to raise the camper at the axles and/or raise the pin box if I can retain the truck to camper clearance.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:32 AM   #10
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Don't you achieve the same results whether you lower the hitch, or, raise the pin box?
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:42 AM   #11
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Don't you achieve the same results whether you lower the hitch, or, raise the pin box?
Yep, hitch as low as it will go so now if I raise the pin box I will get near level but have no clearance.. Lowering the truck is not an option so looks to me like it's raise the camper at the axle. Worst case, I go back to the Class A.......NOT
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